It is unfortunate when you see headlines like this. Mass Layoffs by U.S. Manufacturers Surge in January. Especially when most of these layoffs are probably unnecessary. Layoffs, which used to be the last ditch effort to slash money off the books of a company bleeding red, have become the easy way out. In a new economy, a new normal, for lack of a better term, layoffs have to return to a last option.
If a company with substantial direct/discrete materials spend lays off staff, before completely exploring the bloat in their spend, they have committed an act of laziness and it makes me sad. If you are a services company and the majority of your spend is on staff there is really no choice in the matter, but if companies have a massive cost of goods sold they MUST explore cutting costs for the inanimate before impacting families at a time when community should be in our collective consciousness.
There is, unfortunately, a shocking amount of disorganization and incompetence permeating direct materials supply chains. Over time, this becomes an amazingly large gap between what companies should be paying for their components and what they are paying.
Investigate direct spend before laying off. Don't be a lazy executive.